Grinding Wheels - 1: Overview
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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
Grinding wheels have a huge responsibility in the manufacturing industry. From finishing parts to sharpening tools, grinding wheels are a common item found in all machine shops. Grinding wheels can usually be classified as natural or artificial, such as with a diamond wheel (natural) or a silicon carbide wheel (manufactured). This topic will explain the difference.

Man has been using abrasives throughout history. The majority of natural abrasives, such as sand, emery and quartz, have been replaced by manufactured abrasives such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. Machinists use manufactured abrasives more often than natural abrasives.

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